Like every business, medical practices use different online marketing strategies to bring in more patients and promote their services. Improving and increasing the exposure of your practice through online medical marketing is even more important in today’s market where every business is reaching out to consumers through more modern methods. Your practice should have an established online presence in order to fully reach potential patients. You’ve probably heard the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) mentioned in connection with online marketing. This simply refers to how well your business fares when it comes to search engine results through non-paid avenues. Creating this online presence and gaining exposure for your medical practice is one of the many ways you can boost your SEO and revenue. Aside from revenue increase, many practices use their online presence to promote services, enhance their reputation and simply gain an edge over competitors within their specialty. Our three tips to optimizing your online medical marketing are inexpensive and will help you effectively promote your medical practice:
Did you know that your practice could be listed online without you ever creating a profile for it? When you type a business name into the Google search bar, you get a listing that shows the address, phone number and location of the business in question. You might even see the business’ Google rating based on what consumers have said. These listings are generated through the data gathered by Google and it is the responsibility of the business owner to claim, and subsequently, manage their listing. In order to gain access to your listing, Google provides a portal known as Google My Business. The Google My Business hub is where most listings can be managed by their respective owners. Managing your Google listing is where to start when improving your online medical marketing efforts. Consumers are increasingly doing their own online research when searching for products or services. They have access to search numerous healthcare sites such as HealthGrades, Zocdoc, RateMDs, and WebMD. Other websites such as Yelp rely heavily on their user base to create listings if the business owner has yet to do so. Each of these portals can be managed by your office once the listing is either created or claimed. Once your listings are set, encourage your patients to write reviews based on your service. Data has shown that reviews written by consumers can boost revenue and improve SEO. These are two major goals when implementing an online medical marketing initiative.
Having a website that works for your patients is an ideal way to gain a positive reputation. Your patients will appreciate a website that displays all relevant information with an easy to navigate layout. When someone searches for your practice, your website should be the first result that shows up. So naturally, your site should show exactly what you want your patients to know about your practice. As a best practice, a website should always include the following:
After the basics are covered, you can begin to implement things to help you stand out from the competition. Do you want your patients to have access to schedule and manage their own appointments? Or maybe a contact section where patients can leave comments based on recent visits or questions about their prescriptions. You can also include custom content that revolves around your specialty or the healthcare market. Specialty-specific articles or blogs will keep your patients engaged on your site and help improve your SEO ranking. The content related to your practice should be clear and answer questions that your patients may have when picking a provider. These type of website enhancements are becoming more and more sought after by patients that want easy and convenient access to their providers.
Many practices rely on word of mouth advertising to bring in new patients. However, if this avenue is lagging, you should look to strengthen your reach via social media outlets. There are several social media outlets that you can use to promote your practice and services, but you do not need to overwhelm yourself by opening several accounts at once. Consider Facebook as a good starting point. Facebook allows you to open a business page, instead of a personal profile. Keep in mind to stay within HIPAA guidelines by not sharing sensitive information across these public channels. These profiles will simply serve as a place where you promote your practice and interact with patients on the surface. Assign someone from your front office to manage these accounts and create a schedule for your social media posts. Once the pages are up you can encourage your current patient base to follow or like your page. Building this community of online followers will help build your reputation and allow others to find you easier. In addition, your patients will appreciate the efforts you’ve made to make your practice more accessible once you become active in this field.
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